The ILR/UCD Study Abroad Program is incredibly enriching for students of both ILR and life in general. Academically, studying labor relations in Ireland meant that I was able to observe the labor relations system of the European Union on a first hand basis with people who have experienced its impact, including my professors and fellow students. This opened my eyes to a wider range of labor relations problem solving strategies, thereby broadening my perspective on some of the foremost issues in the field. Among many other enriching activities, my studies included requirements to study the human resources structure of two European companies and prepare multiple presentations on various LR subjects. Through excellent feedback from my professors in Ireland, I improved my thinking on how to structure effective written and oral presentations and I deepened my ability to think critically about ILR content.
Beyond the classroom, the ILR/UCD study abroad experience also gives students the opportunity to engage with Ireland’s incredible culture. Through UCD’s social programs for study abroad students, every weekend, I was able to explore Dublin for free along with interested Irish and other study abroad students. UCD’s expansive network of extracurricular activities allowed me further opportunities to make international friends. A couple of clubs are dedicated to travel within Ireland at discounted rates, trips which are amazingly fun to go on with groups of friends. I also became involved with UCD’s trampoline club and built some of the best friendships of my life while traveling to competitions and learning to do flips.
The class field trip to Belgium was also a major highlight of the ILR/UCD study abroad experience. The Cornell students traveled with classmates from all over the world to Belgium. We explored the headquarters of the European Parliament and experienced key meetings in-session. We spoke with labor relations representatives from various countries in Europe, and we ate Belgian waffles in the streets. The ILR/UCD study abroad experience is absolutely amazing!
- Nancy Blanks, UCD 2011, ILR 2012